Food stuff; Fertilisers be damned

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The fact that one of London's leading distributors of organic fruit and veg is following the supermarket's lead and launching a bonus scheme for customers is an indication that the world of organic produce is certainly no longer the preserve of the knit-your-own-nappy brigade.

"We may be organic but we are also a business," says Isobel Davies who started south London based home delivery service Farm-A-Round three years ago. "Just like other businesses we want to thank our customers for their loyalty," she adds. Not that Farm-a-Round's customers, who have included Ruby Wax, Julian Clary, Jools Holland and Justine from Elastica, will be rewarded with the usual supermarket fare of free videos, boxes of chocolates or dry-cleaning vouchers. They'll be getting free bottles of organic olive oil instead.

Over in west London, the latest carrier bag to be seen with is not from some new designer clothes shop or interiors store but a biodegradable white plastic one with a discreet logo from Britain's first organic supermarket, Planet Organic, in Westbourne Grove.

"People don't just use the bags to take their shopping home. They are using them to take stuff to work or carry their mobile phones and organisers in when they go out," says Plant Organic spokesman Julian Sheldon.

Think of any product and now you can almost certainly get an organic version. At Planet Organic 5,000 square feet is given over to everything from organic food and wine to cosmetics and household goods.

This growing demand for all things organic hasn't gone unnoticed by the supermarket chains. Marks and Spencer who, seven years ago, upset environmental groups by withdrawing their range of organic produce are now thinking about bringing it back.

But why go out when organic food can be delivererd to your door...

q Organics Direct (0171-729 2828) offer a nationwide delivery service for fruit and vegetables plus organic bread and soup.

q Planet Organic (0171-221 7171), 42 Westbourne Grove, London W2. They provide a home delivery service within central London.

q Craig Farm (01597 851655) in Wales is one of a number of companies that offers a nationwide mail-order service.

q Farm-A-Round (0181-291 3650) deliver boxes of farm-fresh fruit and vegetables to homes throughout Greater London.

q For details of other companies, contact The Soil Association on 0117- 929 0661. They produce a booklet "Where to buy organic food" which lists all suppliers in the UK and costs pounds 5 inc p&p